I’d say I have arrested development and am still in the 40-64 years, Generativity vs. Stagnation Stage. I suppose that’s why I have a Pay List, versus a Bucket List. The last one, 64 years-death, is Ego Integrity vs. Despair where an individual struggles with the value of his or her life. I’ll save that question for when I feel older.
One of the things about retirement is I have the time and inclination to examine my own behavior—not always a pleasant activity. I’ve decided that my gardening-thing--I amended my Pay List to gardening versus just orchids—directly relates to my developmental stage. I want things to grow and prosper, and I want to nurture them to make it happen. I spend the last many years growing nurses—an exceedingly rewarding yet tiring enterprise. Now, I have a need to grow other things. I never had a green thumb. But in truth, what I didn’t have was the time or the patience to learn about growing healthy plants. I was focused on growing healthy people.
My friend Ellie accused Steve and I of turning into Ozzie and Harriet. I don’t think it was the garden so much as the apron—which I made, by the way. (It is not all fluffy and frilly. It’s a chef’s apron and combats my tendency to wear what I cook.) It all comes back to the same thing, generativity.
As I examine many of the other activities on my Pay List, I form the same conclusion. Like many of you, I spent so many hours working—and in my case writing, too—during the past 45-odd years that I didn’t do many of the things appropriate for my developmental stage. (Hey, it’s a theory, and this is a blog. I get to say what I want.) Several things that are now more important to me—gardening, volunteering, helping animals, sewing, traveling with My Stevie, and cooking more organic, clean and healthy—seem to support my position.
How about you? Is your development arrested, too? And have I actually supported the notion that I thumbed my mostly Irish nose at in the first paragraph? Is sixty really the new fifty?